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cindystark - clearing off the nightstand (THIS year is the year it happens!)

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Jan 3, 2019, 4:42pm Top

#1 - all at sea by Decca Aitkenhead - some remarkably beautiful writing here amidst the tragedy; this one was NOT on the nightstand last year, but a lovely way to start this year's list

Jan 3, 2019, 8:46pm Top

Welcome back!

Jan 4, 2019, 12:02pm Top

Happy reading in 2019, Cindy!

Jan 4, 2019, 8:09pm Top

Happy 2019
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised

I look forward to keeping up with you, Cindy, this year.

Jan 19, 2019, 10:15am Top

#2 Becoming by Michelle Obama - no matter your politics, this (First) lady can write; best book read in a long time

Jan 19, 2019, 10:17am Top

#3 Raising Blaze by Debra Ginsberg - mixed feelings about this one - deep subject matter, but the author is unlikable and makes decisions that don't seem like they would work for most parents

Jan 19, 2019, 10:18am Top

#4 Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris - written much like Orphan Train but with a touch of romance - not a bad winter read

Jan 22, 2019, 4:20pm Top

#5 My Father' Wives by Mike Greenberg - picked this one up without knowing who the author was, and so glad I did. Could have used a bit more character development, but an interesting story line

Jan 23, 2019, 10:39am Top

#6 The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff -- an odd mix of fact and fiction, I read this thinking it was the true story, was disappointed to read the author's note at the end regarding how much was actually fiction. Now to watch the movie and do some more research on Lili.

Jan 26, 2019, 12:33pm Top

#7 Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - this first novel by the author of Gone Girl shows just how far Flynn has matured as a writer by the time Gone Girl is published; this one is creepy and dark but never quite hits the mark

Jan 28, 2019, 10:10am Top

#8 - The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan - this one had me murmuring hmmmmm for most of the book - still not quite sure

Jan 28, 2019, 10:11am Top

#9 Double Honeymoon by Evan S Connell -- finished this one only because I kept thinking that it just HAD to get better. Nope. Not a fan of the writing style, the characters, the story.

Jan 28, 2019, 10:16am Top

Looks like your reading year is off to a great start, Cindy! I need to make your goal for the year mine too. My nightstand is groaning under the weight of the books - and I have now taken over my husband's as well :)

Jan 30, 2019, 10:25am Top

My problem is that I add two new titles for every one that gets removed... Every time I discover a new author, it turns into a treasure hunt to pick up anything else they have written and the nightstand pile grows deeper...

Jan 31, 2019, 8:54am Top

#10 - The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble - this one was a very pleasant surprise; picked it up from the local library discard shelf ages ago because I loved The Reading Group - not sure why it was discarded!

Feb 2, 2019, 11:39am Top

#11 - Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo -- sweet and satisfying!

Feb 4, 2019, 4:07pm Top

#12 - Educated by Tara Westover - wowowowowowow

Feb 4, 2019, 4:22pm Top

>14 cindystark: I understand that problem all too well!

>16 cindystark: I need to get that one for my daughter. She loves Jane Austen!

>17 cindystark: I agree with your assessment!

Feb 12, 2019, 12:51pm Top

#13 - The Reckoning by John Grisham -- this one started out reading like vintage Grisham, but never really took off; almost written like two books with the chapters devoted to the war, and the ending was a letdown

Feb 12, 2019, 12:52pm Top

#14 - Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens -- it's a rare book that earns 5 stars from me; no hesitation this time. Heartbreakingly beautiful writing; just picked up a second copy to send to a friend, as I'm not sure that I can let my copy go...

Feb 18, 2019, 6:30pm Top

#15 - The Good Mayor by Andrew Nicoll -- quirky and strange and utterly charming

Feb 18, 2019, 6:32pm Top

#16 - The Bold World by Jodie Patterson -- I don't think that I have ever read a book quite like this one. Powerful and achingly raw. I raced through this one, but will sit and read more carefully a second time, as Patterson packs so much emotion into every phrase.

Feb 25, 2019, 11:17am Top

#17 - Room by Emma Donoghue -- this one took me a while; started it three or four times before it grabbed me but once it did...I was hooked.

Edited: Mar 18, 2019, 4:22pm Top

#18 - land that moves, land that stands still by Kent Nelson -- while these characters are not always likable, they are compelling and tell a really interesting story of life 'out on the ranch'

Mar 18, 2019, 4:25pm Top

#19 - When I Walk Through That Door, I Am by Jimmy Santiago Baca -- I became so caught up in this epic poem that I completely forgot that it was not autobiographical by the narrator. Regardless of your politics, this is a striking perspective on the immigration crisis of today. Tiny book that roars.

Apr 3, 2019, 1:26pm Top

#20 - The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson -- my first book by Jackson, definitely won't be the last

Apr 3, 2019, 1:28pm Top

#21 - American Wino by Dan Dunn - much more than a story about wine (and some serious NSFW passages!)

Apr 3, 2019, 1:28pm Top

#22 - The Radium Girls by Kate Moore - utterly heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time

Apr 3, 2019, 2:05pm Top

>28 cindystark: I completely agree. That one really touched me since I worked for about a decade with radiation sources, and the rules I lived by were a direct result of what happened to these women.

Apr 7, 2019, 7:52pm Top

#23 - American Kingpin by Nick Bilton -- this started as my husband's book. We usually don't share many books - he's much more of a science fiction and fantasy reader - but after he finished this in four days, he handed it to me and said GO. I'm so glad he did - what a well written, fascinating story.

Apr 23, 2019, 2:40pm Top

#24 - Mercury by Margot Livesey - an easy enough read but one that could get left on an airplane without shedding any tears

Apr 23, 2019, 2:42pm Top

#25 - Disoriental by Negar Djavadi - this one was a surprise. It took me three tries to really catch on to the non-linear story format, but I am glad that I kept trying. Very interesting characters from a completely different historical perspective

May 11, 2019, 10:05am Top

#26 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - this was our community Reading Together selection. The author had to cancel her speaking event at the last minute, which was a disappointment. Would have been remarkable to hear her speak about this extraordinary book.

May 22, 2019, 7:22pm Top

#27 - It's Not About the Coffee by Howard Behar -- no idea where I picked this one up, but pretty interesting reading about the business lessons learned by the former president of Starbucks

May 25, 2019, 12:44pm Top

#28 - The Incomplete Book of Running by Peter Sagal -- as a non-runner married to an extreme runner, this was very interesting (and may inspire me to actually lace up my own shoes)

May 30, 2019, 5:02pm Top

#29 - Ali in Wonderland by Ali Wentworth -- simply fun

Jun 12, 2019, 6:25pm Top

#30 - Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen -- AQ writes books about characters that you just want to be friends with

Jun 12, 2019, 6:26pm Top

#31 - The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey -- I had no idea where this one was going but what a great ride getting there

Jun 12, 2019, 6:29pm Top

#32 - Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews -- my husband bought me this for Mother's Day; probably not one I would have picked out on my own, but a pleasant surprise

Jun 12, 2019, 6:31pm Top

#33 - The Yankee Widow by Linda Lael Miller -- the other book from my husband for Mother's Day; a little too romance-y for my usual taste, but not a bad way to spend a rainy weekend

Jun 16, 2019, 8:25pm Top

#34 - Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan -- nice, sweet beach read

Jun 18, 2019, 8:38pm Top

#35 - The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig -- managed to read two in a row about bakeries - another nice read; the different time lines were interesting

Jun 20, 2019, 10:25am Top

#36 - Wild by Cheryl Strayed -- wow wow wow, now to rent the movie

Jun 25, 2019, 9:38am Top

#37 - The Sisterhood of the Queen Mamas by Annie Jones --- a little silly

Jun 25, 2019, 9:39am Top

#38 - At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks -- classic Sparks, you always know what to expect with him

Jun 26, 2019, 8:32am Top

#39 - Good Man Hunting by Lisa Landolt -- okay, this was a mistake, thought I had picked up Good Will Hunting and wound up with a silly rom com. Not terrible but not what I was expecting!

Jun 27, 2019, 8:04am Top

#40 - Almost French by Sarah Turnbell -- as a former expat, this read very true

Jun 27, 2019, 8:06am Top

#41 - Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stadal -- no idea when I started where this one was going to end up, but kind of a fun ride

Jun 30, 2019, 1:37pm Top

#42 - Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder -- loved this - great group of characters, interesting time line, I wish that Aganetha had been a real person!

Jul 1, 2019, 10:09am Top

#43 - Telling the Bees by Peggy Hesketh -- lovely

Jul 3, 2019, 7:45am Top

#44 - The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley -- not my style of book at all, despite some really well written sections

Jul 17, 2019, 9:14am Top

#45 - The Seamstress by Allison Pittman -- another historical fiction, how did all of these end up on my nightstand? Well written with a Christian foundation

Jul 17, 2019, 3:03pm Top

#46 - The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks -- hate when it takes me halfway through a book to realize that I've already read it...

Jul 19, 2019, 5:05pm Top

#47 - The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller -- worth a re-visit

Jul 21, 2019, 3:22pm Top

#48 - Pawleys Island by Dorothea Benton Frank -- a nice beach read

Jul 25, 2019, 4:52pm Top

#49 - Shining Sea by Anne Korkeakivi -- this one was a Dollar Store find - and what a find it was. Loved the timeline as the story unfolds

Jul 28, 2019, 10:31am Top

#50 - Don't Look Behind You by Peter Allison -- super fast to read through, very entertaining

Jul 28, 2019, 10:32am Top

#51 - Whatever You Do, Don't Run by Peter Allison -- even better than Don't Look Behind You

Aug 3, 2019, 1:06pm Top

#52 - Best Friends by Martha Moody -- interesting mix of characters, not all likable but all compelling in their own way

Aug 3, 2019, 8:53pm Top

Dropping by to wish you a splendid weekend.

Edited: Aug 30, 2019, 1:19pm Top

#53 - House to House by Sgt. David Bellavia -- this was a tough read, quite graphic and not for the faint of heart, but very interesting

Aug 30, 2019, 1:21pm Top

#54 - The Dudes Abide by Alex Belth -- bought this as a Kindle book, not realizing how short it was. Would have liked quite a bit more!

Aug 30, 2019, 1:23pm Top

#55 - Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire -- had I not been stuck on a plane with this as my last Kindle read, I don't know that I would have finished this one. Very YA in tone, but not what I would want my own YA girls to read.

Aug 30, 2019, 1:33pm Top

#56 - Eye of the Elephant by Delia and Mark Owens -- fantastic. Now to find their other books

Aug 30, 2019, 1:37pm Top

#57 - Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes -- didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. What a fun read

Sep 7, 2019, 11:43am Top

#58 - Team Seven by Marcus Burke - surprised that this is a YA - very hard read

Sep 7, 2019, 11:46am Top

#59- Joy Road by Julie Evans -- I tried so hard to like this and I do admire the way she pulled her life around - but found the author unlikable and her writing style difficult to read

Sep 8, 2019, 11:56am Top

#60 - The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power by James Traub -- packed with information, but slow and slogging

Sep 11, 2019, 2:34pm Top

#61 - The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid -- still undecided about this one - some beautiful writing with characters that weren't always likable or relatable

Sep 11, 2019, 2:35pm Top

#62 - The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg -- the dual time lines were confusing at times, despite the beautiful way that Berg writes

Sep 15, 2019, 3:51pm Top

#63 - Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi -- first met Chef Kwame on Top Chef and have been a fan of his ever since. His voice really comes through this memoir. Hoping that he finds the success he seeks

Sep 19, 2019, 4:49pm Top

#64 - The Color of the Sun by David Almond -- beautiful writing, altho the plot drifted all over the place and never felt really resolved

Sep 19, 2019, 4:51pm Top

#65 - Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson -- fascinating

Oct 6, 2019, 1:26pm Top

#66 - Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik -- this was buried at the bottom of the pile for far too long. Loved getting to know the Housewives

Oct 11, 2019, 9:28am Top

#67 - Good Grief by Lolly Winston -- charming, tragic, darkly funny

Oct 20, 2019, 12:49pm Top

#68 - The Testaments by Margaret Atwood --- this is a compelling story that doesn't quite measure up to the Handmaid's Tale

Edited: Nov 18, 2019, 3:04pm Top

#69 - This Life I Live by Rory Feek -- as a long time admirer of Joey and Rory, this was a wonderful book

Nov 12, 2019, 8:10am Top

#70 - Camino Island by John Grisham -- not JG's usual lawyerly thriller, and a little quick to neatly wrap things up, but a good read on a snowy weekend

Nov 18, 2019, 3:05pm Top

#71 - Hey Harry, Hey Matilda by Rachel Hulin -- interesting method, told entirely in email exchanges, but it got a little creepy (incest-y?)

Dec 7, 2019, 9:25pm Top

Have you made it to 75 yet, Cindy?

Dec 16, 2019, 6:47pm Top

#72 - Life Moves Pretty Fast: The lessons we learned from eighties movies by Hadley Freeman -- very fun trip down the 80s memory lane and all of our favorites!

Dec 16, 2019, 6:47pm Top

Getting closer!

Dec 21, 2019, 4:53pm Top

#73 - Swimsuit by James Patterson --- quick to read, thoroughly unsatisfying ending

Dec 25, 2019, 8:43pm Top

Thank you for keeping me company in 2019.......onward to 2020.

Dec 26, 2019, 10:35am Top

#74 - The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle -- this one falls in the "don't judge a book by its cover" file -- the gentle cover does not give a clue to what is inside. Gripping and dark and beautifully written

Dec 31, 2019, 9:55am Top

#75 - The Guardians by John Grisham -- a great book to end the 75 book challenge! Classic Grisham, and he never disappoints.
Not one from the nightstand, but a new one under the tree.
Ready to start 2020 with another 75!

Dec 31, 2019, 1:16pm Top

Congrats on hitting the goal!

Jan 1, 2:57am Top

>85 cindystark: Congratulations on reaching 75, Cindy!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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